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Monday, November 29, 2021


College of Technology set to make a ‘salute to retail’

The College of Technology’s Department of Human Development and Consumer Sciences will make a “Salute to Retail” Tuesday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the River Oaks Country Club.

The college’s Retailing and Consumer Science program will honor members of the retail community at the biannual event, as well as award scholarships to students in the program. 

The main award will be the Legends Award, which will be given out for the first time to Victor Costa, a UH alumni and  fashion designer. 

College of Technology Director of Advancement Vernon King is part of the group that planned the event and oversees the finances of the department. King said it is important to recognize Costa’s work and associate him with the program at UH.

“When I tell people that Victor Costa is a UH grad, they are surprised he’s an alumni,” King said. “It is always good to celebrate our alumni, especially one who has designed dresses for everyone from Brooks Shields to Nancy Reagan. UH and Houston are intertwined.”

Graduate Coordinator for the Global Retailing Program and Internship Director in Retailing, Shirley Ezell, oversees all moving parts during the planning and setting up of the event, as well as playing a key part in organizing the venue.

“We will be having a collection of 30 of Costa’s garments shown during the event,” Ezell said. “As well as prize bags and a silent auction. This event is only every other year because in many ways it is like having a full time job.”

Human Development and Consumer Sciences Department Chair Marcella Norwood said she thinks the event will affect not just the school, but the entire university. 

“This is a major event for this campus,” Norwood said. “We hope others on campus can recognize the importance of the community support it receives beyond the campus.”

The event debuted in 2004, along with the college’s endowment fund, the Merchandising Star Awards Endowment. The endowment helps provide funds for retailing and consumer science undergraduate and graduate scholarships, continuing education programs, program and student enrichment and the expansion of the first online merchandising degree in the nation.

King said the college is one of the least funded in the University, and he stressed the importance of endowments like the Merchandising Star Awards fund.  

“We have some of the smallest endowments at the University, but some of the greatest needs,” King said. “The majority of our students are non-traditional students, and (they) might be supporting a family. Scholarships like the endowment are extremely beneficial.” 

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